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Sport

This lady in red ain't dead

Nation's tennis darling strongly fancied to progress to Sunday’s final of the US Open


Woz dropped just one game in the quarters (Photo: Scanpix)

September 4, 2014
14:52

by Ben Hamilton


Come Sunday, Denmark could have its first ever winner of a singles grand slam tournament.

As followers of Caroline Wozniacki will know, this has been written before. Back in 2009 when the then young Dane, just a slender 19 years old, met Kim Clijsters in the final of the US Open.

And then umpteen times more during her lengthy spell as world number one. Because it kind of made sense that the world’s best would threaten at the big tournaments. But she rarely did and has failed to make another final since.

READ MORE: Wozniacki cruises into semis of US Open

No ordinary year
But this has been an extraordinary year. It started with the announcement of her engagement to Northern Irish golfer Rory McIlroy, which ended in May just as the wedding invitations were being sent out.

Wozniacki’s form has dramatically improved since, and a breakthrough grand slam win would be the perfect riposte to McIlroy, who has himself won four tournaments, including two majors, since dumping her.

Should she prevail, it will be 30th time lucky in grand slams. 

READ MORE: Wozniacki cruises into semis of US Open

Overcoming her problem
Wozniacki’s biggest problem – beyond holding onto coaches, fiancés and her serve – has always been her tendency to reply on defence against the world’s top players. 

Players like Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka – one of whom will be her likely opponent in Sunday's final should she make it through on Friday – base their games on attack.

They hit winners off their opponent’s serve, deliberately aim for the lines, and yes, they make more mistakes.

READ MORE: Wozniacki and McIlroy in break-up

Coming out of her shell
But there were signs in her pulsating three-set win against Maria Sharapova that Woz is coming out of her shell.

In the semis on Friday, Wozniacki faces the Chinese world number 39, Peng Shuai, who she will not underestimate.Nevertheless, following her win over Sharapova, Woz will feel that a place in Sunday's final is hers by rights.

The bookmakers agree and have slashed the odds on her winning down to 13/5. Live coverage of the final will be shown on Eurosport.



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